Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Fischer King

Fischer King
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Fischer proved to me how gifted (regarding openings) he was with his first match against Spassky. The guy played openings and defenses for the first time in his life almost perfectly against a world champion! As a human being, the guy's values are not in touch with the real world, but when it comes to pure chess knowledge, he has no equal! -- Keith Hayward

Many people allow their judgments concerning Fischer the individual to influence their judgment of Fischer the chess player. -- Ed Kennedy

Being Jewish myself, I somehow didn't see the problem: who cares what a mentally ill (but strangely likable) individual says? If he didn't make some money at chess, I could see him becoming a street person, shaking his fists at cars as they passed by his corner of the block. Isn't it preferable to have him in a self-sufficient position rather than as a liability of the state? -- Jeremy Silman (on Fischer)

While there can be no excuse for the public statements he has made, there can be understanding and even sympathy - for him, if not for his illness. -- Frank Berry Jr. (on Fischer)

Is Fischer quite sane? -- Salo Flohr

During the cold war the russians were chess champions, but on July 11, 1972 Fischer began his match with Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland for the world championship. He won and became a national hero.

On September 1, 1992, Bobby Fischer came out of his 20 year retirement and gave a press conference in Yugoslavia. He pulled out an order from the U.S. Treasury Department warning him that he would be violating U.N sanctions if he played Chess in Yugoslavia. He spat on the order and now faces ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he returns to the U.S. Bobby Fischer had become a villian.

Bobby Fischer is being held in a Japanese prison and awaits extradition to the USA.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson is dead.

Those were the days.
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Yeah Johnny Depp did Hunter to a tee, straped a tape recorder to his chest and pushed his head in the bog and spoke, letting the stream of conciousness rip in a demonic babble, and the tape recorder caught it all. All the brain farts and the kalidascopic hoots of nonsence, am I supposed to enjoy that. No I trashed Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. Aimed it straight at the rubbish bin and lobbed it in. It was a hole in one. It gave a satisfying thunk as it hit the bottom of the trash can. Didn't think about selling it on eBay, didn't foist it off on somebody else as a present, just consigned it to the rubbish heap with glee. If somebody offers you a plate of dried scabs to eat you do not nibble your way through the crusted dried blood, you trash it. He blew a hole in his head at 67. The gonzo. Everybody is singing his praises of how he lived on the edge. I am disinclined to honour him. Poor sweet pitiful man who relied on a tape recorder to record his incoherant drug induced rambling and then when he was sober, played it back and tried to make sence of it. What a technique. I do the exact opposite. I write when I am sober and edit it when I have drunk a bottle of cheap red wine. It worked for Hank, so why not for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I feel like I am fading

I feel like I am fading
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Oh Jack, Oh jack, you were the one to steal cars and drive from coast to coast with Cassidy, picking up cars and women at the same rate and abandoning them at the crossroads just as fast. It was all about the speed of things and bebop, and the maniac howl of Ginsberg who was searching for the third chord that would enable him to play the blues, and when the saxaphone blew, it blew cement dust that covered the sunflower that was growing in a wasteland. T.S. Elliot said it would all end with a whimper, but he was proved wrong because the beat poets from Liverpool came along and said it would end with a Wimpy. And where was I when Shearing played at Newport and Anita O'Day scat sang in white gloves and a big white hat with feathers on it, and everybody wore Ray Bann's and didn't even know it was cool. Where was I when they jived on the rooftops and played classical cello naked on a hot afternoon and called it jazz. Where was I when Chichester sailed around the world, and braved the southern seas in a boat no more than a rusted bucket. And at Newport the water vibrated blue to the sound of a double bass, and Britain was practising once again to get beating in the America's cup. American technology would win everything even the war in Vietnam. When did purple haze turn to purple rain and how did it happen, was I asleep for so many years dreaming of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and penguin dust. I had my own dust to observe. The dust that settles on the window ledges of deserted houses. Boarded up villages abandoned and neglected. The dust from coal that solidifies lungs. Lungs that will never function again not even in the cleanest and purest air. Not even with pure oxygen from a compressed bottle. The miners with ruined lungs played in the silver band. Played show tunes from South Pacific, and on Sundays really thought they had a chance at the national championships in the Usher Hall, but they got too drunk to blow, and half the band spent half of their time working the valve to let the spit drop from their cornets, their trumbones, their euphoniums and their tubas. Black spit that could be Guiness or coal dust. Take me away from all this decay and failure. This futile striving that never pays a dividend, co-op or otherwise. Tune me in to Radio Luxemburg on 208. Take me away Pharoah Sanders. The cool calm nights at the corner, the cigarette smoke keeping away the midges, the distant laughter coming from under the bridge down by the river, as people watched the salmon come up to spawn. I will tell you where I was. I was in a room near George square ratcheting a manual calculator and listening to a small bell ping then a satisfactory answer was reached, but my mind was in Morrocco, in Marrakesh where I wore a berber cape against the cold of the desert air. Where snakes were charmed and men in the marketplace spat fire instead of coal dust. I slept on beaches from Barcellona to Algeceras while John Lennon sang of revolution #9. He was nowhere near the Paris barricades of 68, he only became a working class hero later. It was Tariq ali who rolled the marbles under the police horses hooves at Grovsner square. A Pakistani radical leading a bunch of white skinheads. The madness of the whole idea. I was there when the black and red flags of the anarchists broke away from the main demonstration heading towards Hyde park and wheeled past the Playboy club. I was there when the bunnies on the balcony were encouraged to jump. I was there when we linked arms and charged the police cordon. It was like a game in the play ground. If we had ever broken through we would not have known what to do. When the flag was lowered on the embassy that was victory enough and we all went off and had a Wimpy, so Elliot had got it wrong after all... or it might he might have been half right since the endevour ended in a whimper.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Dancing on the inside

Well I went down to the revival
to give my soul a chance
And the DJ spoke to God,
and the congregation danced.

Everyone was dancing
around that golden cow
I slowly shuffled forward,
feets’ don’t fail me now.

The DJ pointed upwards
to an angel on a swing.
Back and forth she went
and the choir began to sing.

Rose petals fluttered downwards
and perfume filled the air.
Thinking will imprison you.
Dancing takes you there.

The DJ points his finger
my stillness he derides.
Because it's not apparent
I'm dancing on the inside.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Conflict of interests.

Mrs Young at the Elders.

Mr Smith was a retired minister. He had taught at a private school, and had been dismissed. He was now a dishwasher and a part time gardener in an oldfolks home. Every Sunday he went up to Westminster cathedral to listen to the choirboys sing. He liked their high tennor voices.

The other passion in his life was potatoes. He liked saying Maris Piper, Record, and King Edward. He knew all about wireworm and blight, and he kept a keen eye on the potato shaws, and admired the sheen and health of the leaves. He regarded potatoes and choirboys with the same rapt gaze.

Mrs Young was the same age as Mr Smith and she loved flowers. She was frail and couldn't do any heavy digging and she would always ask me to prepare a flower bed for her. She liked to surround herself with cut flowers. She liked the scent. She liked the colour. In the big house the splashes of colour in the corridors, and the fragrances over the fireplace, were evidence that Mrs Young had been about her work. Sweet peas, Wallflower, and the climbing rose Zephirine Drouhin were her favourites. She always said the scent from that rose was better than a meal.

Mr Smith also required my services to double dig his trenches for his early potatoes. There was a constant pull between potatoes and flowers, between male and female, between function and frivolity, between formality and abandonment. One day Mr Smith took me aside and said he was going to let me into a great secret and he drew me close and whispered in my ear "You can't eat flowers in the winter". Mrs Young who had been observing this took her secateurs and cut me a perfect single rose and presented it to me with a smile.